Hello! Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 23rd Senate District and look forward to working with you toward building a better future for Pennsylvania!
This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties and what I am doing as your state senator in Harrisburg. I hope that you will find this E-newsletter helpful, and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
The Senate will reconvene on Monday, September 21, 2020 at 1:00PM.
News for you…
A few bills being considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee this week include: SB 810 Strengthening State Government Cybersecurity and Consolidation of IT Services; SB 890 Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities; SB 1189 Protecting Our Nursing Home Residents; SB 1281 Strengthening the state’s Steer Clear Law; HB 21 Licensing of Home Inspectors.
I introduced legislation on Friday to increase conservation and technical assistance for farmers to reduce pollution impacts on PA waterways. Senate Bill 1272 is a collaborative effort of governmental and non-governmental representatives, including the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB), the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and Penn State.
A number of important funding announcements were made last week:
Governor rejects Legislative input…again….As I noted last week, the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) voted 13-6 to consider the Governor’s proposal to bring Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which will impose a job-crushing tax on PA businesses, while also raising electric rates on consumers. (Read my statement here)
Pennsylvania Supreme Court extends state mail-in ballot deadline… The PA Supreme Court granted the Democratic Party’s request to extend the state’s presidential election deadline three days after Nov. 3rd, allowing many additional votes to be counted. Last August, the Wolf Administration asked the Court to extend mail-in ballot deadlines for the November election. Under previous law, polls would close at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3rd. Ballots arriving by the new deadline with missing or illegible postmarks will still be counted. The Court also said it would permit the use of drop boxes and satellite election offices.
Wolf Signs New Orders Allowing Restaurants to Increase Indoor Occupancy to 50 Percent…Gov. Wolf signed new orders last week increasing indoor occupancy to 50 percent starting today Monday, September 21st. The order requires that serving alcohol for on-site consumption must end at 11:00 PM and all alcoholic beverages must be removed from patrons by midnight. This applies to both restaurants that do not self-certify to increase to 50 percent and those that choose to stay at 25 percent.
Application window open for Lycoming County entities to apply for COVID relief funds… The application window is open for Lycoming County learning centers, nonprofits, municipalities, and fire/emergency medical services (EMS) to apply to receive part of a grant the county received to assist them with COVID-19 expenses. The application deadline for learning centers is Sept. 22nd for the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant (CRBG) funds. The deadline for the other entities is Oct. 2nd. (Read more)
Pennsylvania’s statewide archery deer season begins Saturday, Oct. 3rd, and its return is prompting the Pennsylvania Game Commission to issue some helpful reminders. Archers statewide can hunt for antlered or antlerless deer from Oct. 3rd to Nov. 14th; Sunday, Nov. 15th; and from Nov. 16-20th, and during the late archery deer season, which runs from Dec. 26th to Jan. 18th. The statewide season will include a Sunday hunt on Nov. 15th and also will include an additional seventh week for the first time ever. A statewide bear archery season also will run from Oct. 17th to Nov. 7th. (Read More)
The PA DEP has $400,000 in grant funding available for youth and adult environmental education projects in 2021-22 and will hold a free webinar on October 14 on how to apply. Environmental Education Grants are available to schools, colleges, nonprofit community and environmental organizations, county conservation districts, and businesses. (Read more)
PennDOT Resumes REAL ID Processing
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has resumed issuing REAL IDs at reopened Driver License Centers throughout the state. REAL ID processing was suspended in March when most PennDOT offices closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deadline to comply with REAL ID requirements was pushed back one year due to the pandemic. REAL ID is optional for drivers, but driver licenses and photo ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid form of identification for boarding commercial flights or visiting federal buildings beginning on October 1, 2021.
More information about REAL ID is available on PennDOT’s website.
Funding Available for Transportation Improvement Projects
Transportation improvement projects across Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties could receive a boost from grants through the Multimodal Transportation Fund. The program provides funding for aviation, railroads, ports, establishes dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and allows targeted funding for all modes of transportation.
The program is open to municipalities, councils of governments, business/non-profit organizations, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies, public airports, airport authorities, and ports and rail entities. Applications for grants will be accepted through November 6th.
Child Passenger Safety Week
Submitted Article: Kimberly A. Smith | District 3-0 Safety Press Officer
Every day in America, millions of parents and caregivers travel with children in their vehicles. While some children are buckled in properly in the correct car seats for their ages and sizes, many are not, if they are buckled up at all. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half (46%) of car seats are misused.
To help combat this issue, NHTSA is sponsoring Child Passenger Safety Week from September 20-26, 2020, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible — every trip, every time.
Too often, parents move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death, even if that child is buckled up. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat. NHTSA reported that, in 2015, about 25.8% of children 4 to 7 who should have been riding in booster seats were prematurely moved to seat belts, and 11.6% were unbuckled altogether.
Remember to register your car seat or booster seat with the seat manufacturer so you can be notified in the event of a recall. Parents and caregivers can view more information on car seat safety and locate a certified child passenger safety technician at www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat. You can also contact your local PSP barracks to schedule a free child safety seat check.